Steps to Health in Cognitive Aging: Effects of Physical Activity on Spatial Attention and Executive Control in the Elderly
OBJECTIVE To test the hypothesis that type 2 diabetes is associated with greater decline in cognitive function in middle-aged individuals. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In the Dutch prospective Doetinchem Cohort Study, cognitive functioning was measured twice within a 5-year time interval in 2,613 men and women. Participants were aged 43-70 years at baseline (1995-2002), and no one had a history of stroke. Change in scores on global cognitive function as well as on specific cognitive function domains (memory, speed of cognitive processes, and cognitive flexibility) were compared for respondents with and without type 2 diabetes (verified by the general practitioner or random plasma glucose levels >or=11.1 mmol/l). RESULTS At the 5-year follow-up, the decline in global cognitive function in diabetic patients was 2.6 times greater than that in individuals without diabetes. For individuals aged >or=60 years, patients with incident and prevalent diabetes showed a 2.5 and 3.6 times greater decline, respectively, in cognitive flexibility than individuals without diabetes. For most cognitive domains, the magnitude of cognitive decline in patients with incident diabetes was intermediate between that of individuals without diabetes and that of patients with diabetes at baseline. CONCLUSIONS Middle-aged individuals with type 2 diabetes showed a greater decline in cognitive function than middle-aged individuals without diabetes.